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The downfall of Surbiton....?

15 years ago...

Is it just me?

There seeems to have been a steady decline in the general standard of life in Surbiton over the last 24 months in my opinion.

There now seems to be some real scum roaming around these days. I have worked hard (and I mean hard) to be able to afford to live in this area, and it now seems that, as long as you have a criminal record/are a single mum/are generally a piece of pikey scum, you can live here for free. Intimidating the locals seems to be the norm with this crowd. Only now, am I listening to an argument happening in the street. It's a couple who live in the same row of houses as me and their kids are half way up the street crying and standing in the road, unwatched. The couple in question are 'housed' in the property by the council. Mine costs myself and my wife over eight hundred pounds a month between us yet, when the police were called by their next door neighbours the other night when the guy was trying to kick their front door in (because they had dared to ask them to turn their music down), the neighbour ended up being told that there was nothing they could do unless they had actually been "touched".

Scum are taking over. YMCA needs to be raised to the ground for a start.

Who's going to come baack and tell me I'm wrong? I'm sure there'll be loads of you who think the world is rosy and live in blinkered bliss who are going to try shooting me down....go for it. I am right about this.

Comments

"It is a fact that when people have to pay such a high price to live in such a sought after and attractive locality as Surbiton, then they are entitled to expect a certain standard and quality of life to be upheld and maintained by local government and planning authorities. It would seem they have allowed the YMCA to be used for purposes other than originally intended, not that it should ever have been allowed to be built there in the first place as it is an overbearing architectural monstrosity, just like the front of the old Odeon and what now stands in place of the old "Southampton" and "Winthrop House". Whoever decided that it should be put there must have had it in for the people of Surbiton or received a nice backhander from somebody."

When you say the old odeon, do you mean the one that was on the Ewell road/Tolworth broadway or the one that was replaced with B&Q then waitrose?

I am thinking of moving to Surbiton...now I am scared!! Prehaps I should stick to looking in Kingston?

It depends what you are looking for. For me, Surbiton offers a better combination of benefits than Kingston. The train link into London is much better, traffic is lighter. The town centre is ideal for local shopping without getting involved in the melee of Kingston.

It is great having Kingston on the doorstep, because Surbiton's amenities can be limited on their own. Kingston is only a mile away, but has it's 'big town' problems with chavs/drunks etc on a Friday/Saturday night. Surbiton largely escapes from this.

The only thing to do is not treat Surbiton as a cheaper option. The bettwe parts of Surbiton are at least as expensive as Kingston, while the poorer parts are a fair bit cheaper. If it looks too cheap, probably best avoided.

There is a lot of moaning on this forum about the decline of living standards in Surbiton (to a certain extent that it what the forum is for), but this should not detract from the fact that Surbiton is still an excellent place to live in comparison to other local towns. I have spent a lot of time in places like Epsom, Suttton, Wimbledon and Guildford, and they tend to have a lot poorer combination of benefits than Surbiton (albeit for cheaper council tax!)

As both are under L/Dem rule I should look elsewhere mate as things are just getting worse,the highest council tax in in London and no coppers on the streets.

New Maldens rubbish as well they have close a police station and plan to reopen as aPub.Meanwhile the High Street has been destroyed by a LDem/TFL iniative that will probably see off most shops as traffic is a shambles and parking a nightmare.

"I think you all need to stop whining. There's nothing wrong with Surbiton apart from a few useless bums near the YMCA. Get over it."

My opinion exactly.

The only significant problem in Surbiton apart from the YMCA is the drunks that hang around the station hassling commuters for their used travel cards.

Of course, standards in Surbiton have declined over the last few years, as they have everywhere in the UK. The current government offer no incentive/advantage to work and be generally law abiding, leading to a rise in chav/yob culture all over the country.

In many ways Surbiton has been less affected by this decline than most other areas in the UK.

When I return to the more outlying areas of Surrey, the change is much more noticable - Guildford is a great example of this.

Apart from the couple of problems already mentioned, I always feel very safe walking around alone in Surbiton.

Get over it? Are you serious?
I was attacked in Surbiton on Saturday by a group of about 10 hoodies, girls included. They punched, spat and kicked me. they knew (quite rightly) that if I hit any of them, I would be charged for assault of a minor. Not a policeman in sight despite one of the highest council charges in the country. Next time this happens my tax will be used to treat those scum for their injuries sustained during an unprovoked attacked on a stranger.

I just thought I would add that the 'Get over it' comment was not mine, merely one that I quoted from another user. I did this because I agreed with the general premise of his/her original post (that Surbiton is a relatively safe area) rather than the way it was put across. I would NEVER take anyone's concerns lightly about things like this, and I apologise if this is the way it came across.

What you have been through sounds truly awful, and very frightening to someone like me who walks around Brighton Road at various times of the day and evening. I sometimes wonder if I am letting my guard down too much when walking around Surbiton as I know the area so well - cases like this go to prove that I am. The thing is that I don't know how you would protect yourself against something like this short of not going out at all.

Two years on from that original post, I still feel that Surbiton is a relatively safe place, but that there has definitely been further rapid decline during that period.

You did the right thing. Even if you were lucky you would have been in the wrong with 10 witnesses against you. Your attack was worse than the one against me, and if you don't want to say more then I will not ask again.

Did you report it to the police? Those who attacked me seemed to be known to the police, but I just couldn't get an accurate ID on them (very hard to remember someones face when you are trying hard not to look at them in case they guess what you are doing). Anything you can recall might help, even if it was their clothes or trainers. They might wear them a lot and if the police can pull one in for questioning it might get the others (OK before others say it..."it's a long shot").

My partner with dialled 999 and described the situation through her sobs... the operator was only interested in my address, not where we were or what was happening. No police came.. but they did have the name and address of someone (i.e. me) to arrest if a scum hoodie reported an assault.
I live quite near the centre and made it home OK.. kept a eye out for patrol cars etc.. nothing.
It took place near KFC (surprisingly enough!)

OK you did everything correctly and I am very sorry for you and your partner's distress. In this type of situation I find it best not to deal with lower ranks within the police. Make certain of all your details and contact Kingston Station and ask to be put through to the PA, or get email details of the Borough Commander Laura Nicholson. In the past she has taken praise from me regarding her officers, so hopefully she will help in your situation.

Sorry to hear about this - can I ask wherabouts it happened?

I am not surprised about the lack of police - they seem to be too busy racing up and down Portsmouth Road and around the Kingston one way system on the way to an imaginary emergency to actually bother policing the streets.

I think you all need to stop whining. There's nothing wrong with Surbiton apart from a few useless bums near the YMCA. Get over it.

I agree too. I'm a exiled Northerner living in Kingston but pass through Surbiton and okay there could be problems with the YMCA, drunks, drug addicts and youth gangs in Surbition but thank your lucky stars you're not living in some parts of the UK which have much worse problems than yours. For example I have relatives who live on the Newhall Green estate in Wythenshawe in Manchester and for the last 3-5 years they've been plagued by youth gangs. For their amusement they shoot guns in the street, have been involved in the odd murder/stabbing/shoot out (becoming ever more common!), deal drugs, steal/race cars and motorbikes dangerously in the area and if the police don't catch them they blow them up with industrial fireworks, smash bus shelters and phone boxes (sometimes blowing them up with their fireworks), rob from the vulnerable and weak and generally hassle and intimidate any honest hard working individuals on the estate. Newhall Green is not alone and Surbition may have it's problems but it's like paradise compared to some parts of the UK I know including London!

I think that there is a great deal of over-reaction on this thread (and site in general), about the 'problems' in Surbiton.

Surbiton is a very safe place to live on every level, not just compared to the bad places in London/the north, but also in comparison to all other urban areas.

It is not nice to see the freeloaders from the YMCA walking around, but I have never had any hassle of any kind in 10 years of living here. I seem to get hassled by drunks/chavs a lot more when I visit places like Guildford and Epsom that I do actually living in Surbiton. The same goes for most of my friends that live here as well.

Hello,

It's me again, that outsider who seems to have assisted in stirring up a hornet's nest. Still, it is good to have a healthy debate on things and maybe we can get Surbitonians to come out of themselves instead of keeping quiet. May I draw everybodies attention to a piece in one of those books I recommended which explains what being suburban means and describes a person who only half opens their door to callers while dressed in their best clothes. Do Surbitonians hide behind their front doors and think the whole world will find out who they are if they contribute anything to Surbiton.com?

There is something here which I am not sure about.

If one must not read the Daily Mail to avoid becoming "Right Wing" which I take to mean having extreme and possibly nationalistic views about everybody and everything, what paper should people read to have their views moderated or influenced completely the other way so that anybody or anything is acceptable?

Should anybody or anything be acceptable no matter where one lives?

How should people be best influenced to think the right way?

What about having Surbiton's equivalent of the Notting Hill Carnival where everybody comes out of the closet and mixes together and just lets themselves go. That may lead to some understanding and bring a whole new meaning to living in Surbiton. Just think about it.

And if not ,why not?

Nobody is saying that there isn't a real fear of crime out there, just that the fear isn't justified.
I feel that I am again repeating myself but Surbiton is an extremely safe community to live in, with a very low level of crime.
The yobs and scum that people keep on going on about, who are they? Yes there may be people in Surbiton that do not live up to the Daily Mail ideal, your perceptions may see them as a threat , but in the vast majority of cases thay are not.
Correspondants on these pages seem to have a steriotypical image of what a normal person in Surbiton must look like and if they don't then they must be up to no good.
Anyone not living in Surbiton reading these pages would think we live in a crime ridden community, wake up, we don't!

Dinyar,

I don't live in Surbiton anymore and wouldn't because there are far more places in the outlying regions of this country which provide far better value for money per dwelling and land area and a better overall quality of life where one can generate a sufficient income to pay for more sensibly priced property. I am also surrounded by people who share that view and who once lived in London and it's suburbs and were glad to get out because in their opinion it has gone down hill very rapidly in a relatively short space of time.

Now what do you suppose offended, frightened, and outraged those residents to such an extent that they decided to leave areas of London and it's suburbs where they and their grandparents had lived happily for generations to move as far away as possible?

And don't you think that those who remain have a right to make a firm stand for once and freely express how they feel when they can see undesirable elements creeping in and further undermining what remains of the quality of life they have worked so hard for?

I came up to see for myself and from my considerable life experience I can see what's coming if something is not done about it. I am reliably informed that gun culture supplementing drug culture has now reached certain parts of Kingston just two miles away and that there is a drug problem at the YMCA.

It is just a matter of time when you yourself will come to understand the meaning of real fear if you do not respect what people are saying now and do something about it. It's no good burying your head in the sand and telling people to shut up.

I am afraid that I must agree with Kevin. Why don't you make the most of this wonderful place and stop complaining. Even though there's nothing to complain about.

It is a fact that when people have to pay such a high price to live in such a sought after and attractive locality as Surbiton, then they are entitled to expect a certain standard and quality of life to be upheld and maintained by local government and planning authorities. It would seem they have allowed the YMCA to be used for purposes other than originally intended, not that it should ever have been allowed to be built there in the first place as it is an overbearing architectural monstrosity, just like the front of the old Odeon and what now stands in place of the old "Southampton" and "Winthrop House". Whoever decided that it should be put there must have had it in for the people of Surbiton or received a nice backhander from somebody.

Pete.

As I have mentioned in other areas of this site, perception of crime in this area bears no resemblence to actual levels of crime, epecially in Surbiton.
Shame on all of you spouting your right wing hatred on this site.
The YMCA hasn't defaced our town in any way, Surbiton is a safe an wonderfull place to live, maybe if a few of you put down the Daily Mail and took a walk outside, by that I mean futher than your car, you would realise this for yourselves.
Oh yes at the same time as you take your walk you might like to try having a chat to the scum you say is out there, that is if you can find them, maybe you will all then realise Surbiton is as great as it always was.

If you lot don't like the way that Surbiton is going then do something about it. Unpronounceable said that he is constantly seeing crime committed on his street, right? Then shouldn't he set up a video camera which he can switch on to catch them. If this evidence is given to the police then they can put the offenders back inline. I personally think that Surbiton is one of the better London towns. I have lived here all my life nd I do agree that something has to be done. But the YMCA ouses the homeless and also provide fitness services. If yu think it is soley the fault f the YMCA you are geatly mistaken.

Agree with you on that one. Cannot get home from Sainsburys without that trash sniffing my shopping.
Have to close the YMCA down quick before Surbiton goes to the dogs! :x

Yup, you're quite right. However, Surbiton isn't exclusive in this. Life in and around London is getting progressively more grim.

I went to Kingston Uni (then Poly) to do my degree back in the 70s. Surbiton was then a pretty pleasant, if somewhat nondescript, place. Now, it's becoming a pretty crappy place to live, in the way a lot of London has become.

I used to live and go to school in Streatham which was pretty okay in the early 70s. Now, the whole high road there is like a war zone. You never would have thought that back when I lived there, and anyone who thinks the same can't happen in leafy Surbiton has their head stuck in the sand. In 5-10 years it's going to be a dump here as well. Just look at the way Kingston is going.

All very sad really, but I've got a family now and I don't want my kid growing up here. We're selling up and moving to Italy.

I like your style Kanoon.....

...shame others on here are too worried to say their bit eh?

There are a load of them walking past my house as I type......ooh, there goes another can - thrown at a car....

.....as I said, Scum.

yeah Im with you there. Although I believe that everyone should be given a fair chance. Not in my area :lol:

Keep Surbiton tidy, shut down the ymca

No-one got any views on this?

Come on people, this has bearing on you and yours. If scum are allowed to carry on doing what they like, one person here (at least) will, one day, get that knock on the door/telephone call that they never wanted.....

As a single female, should I avoid buying a property in Surbiton? I was told the train links into London were great but reading all the commentary on the place itself, I'm thinking I've chosen the wrong town.

This evening I was walking along Maple Road with my young baby and a female friend. A group of youths were walking on the other side of the road talking loudly. One of them shouted 'F*** Off' suddenly, so we briefly looked across in their general direction. They shouted across to us to 'F*** Off, Yeah you, Bang Bang' and made a shooting gesture. These weren't chav types but black teenagers dressed in hip-hop type clothes. We didn't stare or do anything to invite their abuse, we were just two young women and a baby walking home. I've lived in Surbiton for a number of years and I was under the impression it was a safe place. I'm starting to question this now...

Hi, I am seriously considering moving from central London to Surbiton in search of more space. Since the arrival of my baby (now 9mths) we have been looking for a 3 bedroom house with private rear garden. However I am a full-time working mother in the City so we thought Surbiton could be an ideal place with the fast trains to Waterloo, and reasonable houses with good primary schools. Would really appreciate your thoughts on the overall security of the place? is it family-oriented and safe walking around with a pushchair? Are most of the residents young families or house-sharing students? Thanks.

I grew up in Surbiton, lived there 20 years. When I return it seems pretty much the same as it ever did.

However I agree that there are nicer places to live. I moved away because it was too expensive. I could have bought a one bed flat, or moved to where I am now where I have a 3 bed-semi for the same price. Moving away is no good if you like living in a safe london suburb with good commuter links. Oh wait, where I live now has direct trains (approx. 20mins) into London Bridge (much better for the City - no drain thank god!), Victoria, Waterloo (East) and Charing Cross. And they even run 24hrs! No more getting that horrible stopper back at 0105 or whatever it was. My current town is also statistically one of the safest wards in the country and has isntant access to the Surrey countryside and is only 45mins from the Brighton. Why is Surbiton so pricey? Ive not looked back!

My folks almost sold their pretty average 5 bed surbiton house for >1m!! Unbelivable! They bought it for 60k lol! That amount in my current town would buy you a mansion with swimming pool and tennis courts. What exactly is the attraction of Surbiton?!

I do miss walking by the river, Richmond Park and KFC. But that's not really worth paying twice the going rate of property in similar zone 6 suburbs - is it? I cant help wondering if its snobbery? People would rather pay twice as much to get a Kingston postcode rather than a Croydon one for example?

I wouldnt move back even if I could afford it... most of my peers (professional graduates) who grew up round there have long since moved on too - for the same reasons as me. Perhaps the character will change afterall...?

Have lived in Surbiton for many years and as far as I can tell, Surb High St is getting more dangerous. At one end of the street you have the YMCA, which houses recovering drug addicts (as I understand it) - there was a guy walking home mid-evening - just a few months ago on his way home from work who was stabbed for no reason at all just outside there. Second reason is the station is good quick access from central London and a whole host of dodgy places. This means it is a quick get-out root for gangs of youths that come in from some unsavoury parts of London. I haven't heard of thefts/break-ins related to this but there have been plenty of incidents of harrassment to completely innocent Surbiton residents. Victoria Park can be dangerous at night. Overall it's a good place and I would think crime levels are perhaps lower than many other parts of Greater London but the same rules apply in Surbiton as for the rest of London - you've got to keep your wits about you.

I am a single Mum and take great offence to your comment with regards to the downfall of Surbiton. Just because you are a single mother it doesn't mean your children will convert to a life of crime. My husband left me for a younger model and well done to him, my life is better without him. I am a brilliant SINGLE MOTHER who has two polite, intelligent young boys! So stop being so stereotypical and think about what you write!!!!! Oh and I have lived in inner London when studying at art college and seen what real crime is, this I do not see in Surbiton. I lived in Kennington and witnessed some pretty ugly things, drug dealing, cars being set alight, fights etc. etc. I also lived in Portsmouth for many years from School to Art College and again if you want to see a colourful life at night go there. Surbiton is one of the most quietest towns I have lived in, hence deciding to move here from Ealing when I had my first child, remember the bombs!
Get real!!!!!!!

After two and half years of misery at the hands of drug dealing, alcoholic, anti-social layabouts I am pleased to say they have all been evicted from Victoria Avenue in Surbiton.

To those who say they cannot be beaten, then I say you are wrong. WE BEAT THEM!!!

So for those suffering the same problems I offer this 'battleplan'

1. Keep a daily logbook. It's boring, but solicitors will thank you for it as it makes their job easier.
2. Always contact the police and log any CAD numbers or Crime Reference numbers you are given.
3. Contact MP and Ward Councillors. You might not be the only one contacting them....
4. If the property is council or housing association then contact them.
5. Contact Environmental Polution control team.
6. If required contacts Benefit Fraud office.
7. Never, never allow yourself to be drawn into a physical fight....they will become the victims as they know how to work the system!

I moved to one of Surbiton's river roads in April 2007 as a first time buyer from Epsom where I had grown up and since then I haven't looked back. The trains are fantastic to London, especially to Waterloo and unlike Epsom they are the modern, clean, air-conditioned ones and it only takes c. 15-18mins non-stop. Being able to walk along the river to Kingston is a joy and equally going the other way and driving/ taking the bus or short taxi ride to Esher or Cobham for a slice of the country is fantastic. It is great in the summer to take a boat trip to Hampton Court or to Richmond and accessing the A3 makes living there easy. I have only witnessed a handful of less-desirables in the area but where don't you find that?... In comparison to Epsom it is so much safer and cleaner and so much more convenient. Property prices have kept rising and it is becomming increasingly popular as an area to live. The Maple Road area has a good variety of bars and restaurants but if you want a 'bigger' night out with more choice then Kingston is a 10min walk away! All my friends have been impressed with Surbiton but it has a 'sticky' image, which is hard to shake-off. Furthermore the High Street has been neglected over the years and isn't the most attractive and yes there is a YMCA. However, things will only improve and with it do house-prices. In reality though you have to ask why it's so expenisve given it is zone 6 but the answer is simple - you have the quickest commute from anywhere in Zone 5/6 into C. London, you're on the door-step of one of the most desirable places to live and best shopping towns in England - Kingston as well as having a comparatively low level of crime for a London Borough (lowest of all the bLondon boroughs) and lastly access to some excellent grammar schools and non-grammar schools in the Kingston borough. The High Street has all the amenities you could ask for M&S/ Waitrose/ Sainsburys/ Post Office/ bars and restaurants and you have the benefit of living further out of London with access to countryside on the opposite side of the river but easily accessible to Clapham/ Wimbledon and London. It is a great place to invest inproperty and it will become more fashionable as statistics and surveys are showing. I haven't looked back since moving here and neither will you if you choose to move here but it gets my thumbs up!

drstrangelove, I grew up in Tooting during the 70/80s and couldnt wait to get out of there. When I go back to see my folk and mates in Tooting/Streatham, I pity them. If people inSurbiton, stand up and care for the area, hopefully things wont degenerate the same way as everywhere else.

Since winning my fight against the drug dealers and scum above me our life has been a lot quieter. Earlier this year I was mugged by three black teenagers armed with a hammer (I make the point of saying thery werer black as a matter of fact, not for any racist/political reason). What I learnt allowed me to walk away minus £10, but at least I came home unlike others poor souls. There could be another 'problem' in Victoria Avenue, although I believe the police are aware of it.

As for the Surbiton YMCA. I have heard, and I haven't confirmed it, but two 'hoodies' tried to rob a man in the carpark there. He was hit on the head by a bottle. He proceeded to headbutt the attacker a number of times. I don't know if any arrests were made. If this story is true, then swift justice indeed.

Having said all of this I repeat my earlier comments. Surbiton has not reached crime levels or associated fear of crime as in Hackney & Peckham. You have to be wary in the dark, but you cannot allow yourself to be cowered. Best wishes to all of you.

if you think surbiton is unsafe - go and stay in new cross or somewhere similar for a while !

there is always going to be crime, drugs , alchies, jumped up teenagers thinking their 'ard and out to prove it, muggeings etc in every area - but comparitivley speaking surbiton is safer than a lot of places

I do know what you mean - I work in an addictions detox and rehabilitation unit and see first hand daily the damage that drugs and alcohol can have on families / individuals and communites -

however I feel surbiton is relatively safe compared to a lot of other areas - for example I regularly travel home late at night alone and don't feel threatened or intimidated - which was the reason for my post

we are also having a bit of a mare with our neighbour (who I believe has some sort of problem with either substances or ?possibly mental health problems) and are presuming it will have to eventually go down the formal complaint route as she has no respect for others and there is no rationalising with her, so well done for your victories! - as it is difficult, as all I want is a quiet night when I come home from work and shut my door at night

I think overall Surbiton is pretty safe. I have a friend who lives in Tooting and she says I should count myself lucky to have so much greenery around and the lovely walk by the river.

Any chance we can wiz back the clock @13 years or so and put Surbiton back how it was?

Dorothy we need those slippers now!

This is a depressing thread. Wherever you live in the UK or the world you have to expect to rub shoulders with people unlike yourselves. I think it's dismissive to write all people who live in the YMCA off as 'scum'. I have lived in Surbiton for the past 3 years and walk past the YMCA on most days. The worst I see are youngsters sat around in leisure gear, swearing and making pains in the arses of themselves. I think for those who find this terribly distressing you should perhaps do some travelling to parts of the UK or the globe where people do have to put up with a little more than this and are a little less thin-skinned as a result. In no way do I intend to dismiss anyone on here who has been the victim of crime, just the people who seem to expect to live in a personal version of their own Utopia.

Hi there, im thinking of moving to Surbiton, im a single female and would be living on my own, but im a bit concerned by the number of negative posts regarding crime and mugging. I will be commuting to London, but i want to be able to feel safe when i travel back (if that is late) and at the weekends, being safe is the main thing for me. I currently live in Hampshire and want to move closer to London to ease the commute, but now, im not so sure.
Should i be looking elsewhere?! Thanks!

I love Surbiton and would recommend it to anyone. As a 30 year old female i feel totally safe walking home alone at night, i can get home from Waterloo until 1am and my trains in to waterloo take less than 20 minutes in the morning. The only downfalls to Surbiton are that the trains are more packed than a cattle transporter, it is in zone 6 so quite expensive, the council tax is one of the dearest in the country and the house prices are extremely expensive (but hey, you pay for the area). The YMCA is a slight annoyance but nothing too bad, you will get 'youths' everywhere. Love the Victoria pub, Gordon Bennetts, Joy curry house and Da Lucios Italian restaurant. But .... who is the man that sits at the train station every morning telling people off for opening the station doors - he is quite annoying!

Absolutely spot on.

i'd like to point out the fact that the Y.M.C.A. stands for the young men's christian association and is there to provide aid and be a good samaritan to those less fortunate (and no, i'm not saying that everyone that ends up there is a good person that's fallen on hard times) than ourselves. What's the bet that all the people that cry out the loudest against the 'scum' (and that word gets bandied about a awful lot on this site) consider themselves to be good little christians who love their fellow man and would never ever talk ill of another? hmmm?

The YMCA is a suitable refuge for people that have fallen on hard times, but the centre and it's staff are not equipped to deal with people with hardcore mental and drug problems. These people need specialist help, but they are just dumped into the nearest hostel that does not meet their needs.

The community then (rightfully) complains about this, and the YMCA and it's residents are seen as being to blame, when really it is the government agencies that are placing the wrong people there.

Hello,

I have recently moved to the area and can assure you that I have no regrets. I know a number of people who live here and we have not encountered any nastiness, other than what you'd expect from any high street with as many pubs as Surbiton has.

I would recommend Surbiton to anyone who wants to be close to London without actually having to live in it. The transport links are excellent by the way.

Totally agree. There are isolated incidents, but far less that you would expect for a densely populated area on the edge of London. Anyone that feels unsafe in Surbiton clearly has not spent an evening in Guildford or Woking, let alone any really rough areas.

I make the point that they were black 'as a matter of fact' not because of any racist/politcal reason. Really? Would you have mentioned the fact that your muggers were white?

That would be nice, but we would need to do it for the whole of the UK. Everywhere has declined badly since 1997, Surbiton is actually one of the least effected in my opinion.

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